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Thomas Goes Fishing

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"Engines don't go fishing!"
— James
Thomas Goes Fishing

David Mitton


David Mitton Robert D. Cardona


Reverend W. Awdry (original) Britt Allcroft David Mitton (adapted)


Ringo Starr (UK/US) George Carlin (US)

Air date

November 13th, 1984 (UK) April 21st, 1987 (AUS) March 5th, 1989 (US) June 19th, 1990 (JAP) December 24th, 1991 (George Carlin US)

Previous episode

Thomas and the Guard/ Thomas and the Conductor

Next episode

Thomas, Terence and the Snow/ Terence the Tractor

Thomas Goes Fishing is the twelfth episode of the first season.


Along his branch line, Thomas often looks forward to the sight of the river, and the people that fish there. He often wants to stay and watch, but his driver decides against it, worrying what would happen if they fell behind schedule by stopping to fish. Whenever he meets another engine, he always talks about wanting to go fishing, and is annoyed when the other engines say, "Engines don't go fishing". However, he unknowingly gets the chance when the water column at the junction breaks down. Thomas is cross, but his crew decide to get water from the river.

The crew find a bucket and rope and hurry to the bridge. The driver lowers the bucket down to the river, but little do they know that the bucket has five holes, and water leaks out fast. This means that they have to hurry before the water drains out. The crew repeat this several times before at last Thomas' thirst is quenched. 

But they did not go very far before Thomas develops a pain in his boiler. Steam rushed from his safety valve, and Thomas is alarmed that he may burst. The crew dampen the fire and struggle on to Ffarquhar. Annie and Clarabel are uncoupled, and Thomas is stopped in a siding as the driver summons an inspector and the Fat Controller. Workmen put signs saying "DANGER KEEP AWAY" all around Thomas. The inspector and the Fat Controller arrive, who consol Thomas of the situation. The driver explains what had happened, and the inspector concludes that the feed pipe is blocked.

The inspector looks inside Thomas' tank and is surprised at what he sees. He climbs down and the Fat Controller takes a look in Thomas' tank as well. What he sees shocks him, and both agree that it was fish. They deduce that fish were collected in the bucket along with the water. Thomas' crew fish them out with instructions from the Fat Controller and have a lunch of fish and chips. The Fat Controller asks if Thomas has learned his lesson and Thomas says that he has and that fishing is too uncomfortable.




  • This episode is based on the story of the same name from The Railway Series book, Tank Engine Thomas Again.
  • Stock footage from Thomas' Train when and Thomas and the Trucks is used.
  • This is the first episode to have the same title in the US and UK.
  • In the Welsh narration, only one of the "DANGER KEEP AWAY" signs is translated into Welsh, while the others remain English.


  • In one scene, Annie and Clarabel are facing the wrong way.
  • The river water is brown when it is lifted in the bucket, but when it is poured into Thomas' tank it is clear.
  • Thomas' driver was said to have hung "DANGER" signs on Thomas' front and back, but they are propped a few metres in front of and beside him.
  • Thick pencil marks are visible on the "DANGER KEEP AWAY" signs.
  • In the American narration by George Carlin and the Japanese version, listen carefully after the Fat Controller says "Mmmm . . . " Ringo Starr can be faintly heard saying "Mmmm . . . " in the background.
  • When the men are first seen with the "DANGER" signs, the red lining around Thomas' number is torn.
  • Thomas is wearing Percy's tired face in some shots.
  • In the restored version, studio equipment can be seen when Thomas says: "Bother! I'm thirsty!" and when the Inspector looks inside Thomas' tank.
  • When the inspector clambers up to check Thomas' tanks, Thomas abruptly stops hissing steam. But when the inspector comes down, he is hissing steam again and once the Fat Controller climbs up, the steam vanishes. Then again, when the Fat Controller asks Thomas' driver how the fish got there, the steam reappears. And throughout all of this, the hissing sound continues even when Thomas is not letting off steam.
  • When Thomas is at Elsbridge, the siding usually seen at the water column is not there except in the close-up of the out of order sign. When it is seen, it ends in the grass.


  • Buzz Books - Thomas Goes Fishing

In Other Languages

Language Name Meaning
German Thomas geht angeln Thomas Goes Fishing
Norwegian Thomas på fisketur Thomas On Fishing Trip
Welsh Tomos yn Pysgota Thomas Fishing
Japanese トーマスとさかなつり Thomas and Fishing
Italian I trenini non vanno a pescare! The Trains Do Not go Fishing!
Finnish Kalaa Thomas Fish in Thomas
Croatian Tomica ide u ribolov Thomas Goes Fishing
French Thomas va à la pêche Thomas Goes Fishing
Dutch Thomas gaat Vissen Thomas Goes Fishing
Danish Thomas på en fisketur Thomas on a Fishing Trip
Chinese 托马斯去钓鱼 Thomas Went Fishing
Slovenian Tomaž gre na ribolov Thomas Goes Fishing
Hungarian Thomas halászni megy Thomas Goes Fishing
Czech Tomáš na rybách Thomas on Fish


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